Seeing Sea Stacks – By Jerry Gorsline

Sea Stacks located along Olympic coast and western reaches of the Strait of Juan
de Fuca are remnants of headlands that remain after erosion of cliffs by wave action. Erosion of headlands creates caves, and then arches that eventually collapse to form stand-alone large or small sea stacks that lie close to the shore, and
offshore by as much as three miles. Flat-topped rocks standing at an approximate
elevation of 100 feet represent the horizontal surface of an elevated wave-cut
platform, raised by vertical movement owing to post-glacial rebound and uplift
from movement on the Cascadia subduction zone.

Thoughts by Jerry Gorsline. Photo by Olympic National Park Website.


Feds seek expanded habitat protection as salmon, orcas battle climate change, habitat degradation – Seattle Times

While this is very welcome and overdue, it does, of course, exempt the military from this designation. So the Orcas can be protected against everything, except our military running secret experimental bombing, which by their own admission in their environmental review documents, will lead to death of wildlife. We consistently do not hold the military to the same environmental standards that we hold all other citizens.  Without doing that, this is just more of the same, fiddling while nature burns.

The designation requires review of federal actions within the areas that could affect southern resident killer whales, providing additional oversight by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Update on proposed offshore oil and gas leasing

Here is an update on the Federal Government’s proposed offshore oil and gas leasing program.  The Washington State “listening session” has been rescheduled for March 5th and a new venue.  The new spot is the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia, 2300 Evergreen Park Dr., SW.  The scheduled time is 3pm to 7pm PST.  This is on the west side of Olympia, not downtown.  Take the Decatur/Crosby St exit off of 101, cross over the freeway and then turn right on Evergreen Park Dr. SW.

There some parallel events at the same location that start with speakers at 1pm and a People’s hearing 2-7:30, sponsored by Sierra Club and other groups.  They are also urging people to go to the BOEM session as well.

Also, as a reminder, comments on the proposal are still due March 9, 2018.  They would prefer you to comment online, though they will take mailed comments.  For online comments, go to

Thanks to Andy Pallmer for the update.

June 8th is World Oceans Day

While this is sponsored by NOAA, the UN and many other agencies, it is oddly not celebrated here in the Salish Sea. Only a couple of minor events are happening, according to their event calendar. Given the huge amount of work being done here, maybe next year we can see a greater uptake in public awareness on this event.

Want to do something to celebrate? Here’s a short list.

  • Take a child to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center
  • Take a child to the Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles.
  • Go to any beach with a bag and collect garbage. You’ll find some.

Public comment meetings on Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Draft Management Plan

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) will host public meetings in Port Angeles (February 23) and Forks (February 24) to hear public comment on its Draft Management Plan (DMP) and Proposed Rule (proposed changes to sanctuary regulations).  The meetings are opportunities for interested people to learn more about the DMP and Proposed Rule, speak directly to sanctuary staff, and most importantly provide sanctuary staff with ideas on how to improve the DMP.  Meetings will begin informally, with an opportunity for attendees to talk with sanctuary staff, followed by a brief introduction by George Galasso, Acting Sanctuary Superintendent.  At approximately 6:30 pm, members of the public will be provided opportunity to provide their comments and recommendations.
Port Angeles, February 23 6 pm to 9 pm; Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth Street, Commissioner’s meeting room (#160). (Note: the after-hours entrance to the Courthouse is via Fourth Street, to the left of the flag poles near the main courthouse entrance).
Forks, February 24 6 pm to 9 pm; Washington Department of Natural Resources Community Room, 411 Tillicum Lane. 
On January 14, 2011, OCNMS released a Draft Management Plan (DMP) that is largely based on recommendations developed by its Advisory Council through an intensive working group and workshop process (see  When finalized, this management plan will serve as a guide to OCNMS management on its activities for the next 5 to 10 years.
Proposed revisions to OCNMS regulations (referred to as the Proposed Rule) also were developed while reviewing our existing management plan and regulations.  The DMP and proposed regulatory changes formed a framework around which OCNMS staff wrote a Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) document that accompanies the DMP and Proposed Rule and includes all of the federal compliance documentation to accompany the DMP.  A January 14th Federal Register notice announced availability of the DMP, DEA and Proposed Rule for public comment (Regulation Identification Number RIN 0648-BA20). 
This notice marks the end of the development phase of the management plan and the beginning of the public review phase.  These documents provide for the public to review a tangible expression of the Sanctuary’s vision for the next five to ten years.
We encourage interested members of the public to comment on the Proposed Rule and DMP/DEA.  These documents and updated information on the management plan review process is available at our web site
All comments on the Proposed Rule and DMP/DEA be received or postmarked by March 25, 2011.
In addition to comment at the public meetings, you may submit comments in the following ways:
·         Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal  Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
·         Fax: 360-457-8496, Attn:  George Galasso
·         Mail: George Galasso, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, 115 East Railroad Avenue, Suite 301, Port Angeles, WA 98362
For more information, email us at or call
360-457-6622 ext. 28.

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Fishing boat sinks in Marine Sanctuary…oil sheen reported

DATE: February 4, 2011 8:32:10 PM PST
News Release: Update – Coast Guard, DOE continue to monitor area where the Vicious Fisher sank
SEATTLE – The Coast Guard and Washington Dept. of Ecology(DOE) continue to respond to pollution concerns after the 80-foot fishing vessel, Vicious Fisher, sank in about 360 feet of water approximately 13 miles west of La Push, Wash., Thursday.

The Coast Guard safely removed all five crewmembers from the vessel by approximately 6 p.m., Thursday after final efforts to dewater the vessel failed. No injuries have been reported.

The steel hulled Vicious Fisher homeported in Bellingham, Wash., sank with approximately 3,800 gallons of diesel fuel onboard.

Coast Guard and DOE officials conducted an on-scene assessment Friday morning and determined salvage of the vessel was not possible due to the depth of water it sank in.

Friday, Coast Guard helicopter crews conducted two over flights of the area where the vessel sank and discovered a two-mile, light sheen and the life raft belonging to the Vicious Fisher in the vicinity of the area the vessel sank. The sheen is not recoverable.

The location where the Vicious Fisher went down is located in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and is near the Quileute Indian Tribe reservation.

Coast Guard and DOE will continue to monitor the area. A third helicopter over flight is scheduled for Saturday.

NOAA finds new deep-sea habitat off Olympic Peninsula – Seattle Times

Great news!

6/20 Seattle Times
By Cassandra Brooks
Seattle Times staff reporter

A federal research cruise off the Olympic Peninsula coast has revealed new deep-sea boulder fields peppered with bright sponges, small corals and rockfish.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cruise, which returned last week from the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, was the first in a series of summer cruises looking for new deep-water rocky habitats and deep-sea coral fields.

Using high-tech underwater vehicles that take video and still photos, researchers examined critters in the sanctuary’s depths, including petite deep-water corals, bright green sponges and a variety of fish.

More at

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